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Quotable Quotes: JJ On The Grind, Goals & Golf

She's a former World No.1, a Grand Slam finalist, one of the few players that has beaten both of the Williams sisters at the same tournament - the list goes on and on for Jelena Jankovic.

Published December 12, 2012 12:00

Quotable Quotes: JJ On The Grind, Goals & Golf
Jelena Jankovic

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - She's a former World No.1, a Grand Slam finalist, one of the few players that has beaten both of the Williams sisters at the same tournament - the list goes on and on for Jelena Jankovic, and she opened up on a range of subjects in Luxembourg recently...

On her goal of winning a Grand Slam...
"It's been a goal of mine for a long time to win a Grand Slam. I've been in the final one time at the US Open and many semifinals, but I've never won one - we'll see. My favorite surface is clay, and I've been to the semifinals of Roland Garros three times, and I also like the US Open, where I was a finalist and a semifinalist. I've had a history of good results at Grand Slams and I just need to make one or two more steps than I have. They're two weeks, seven matches, and you have to be mentally and physically strong - and when you get to the end you still have to be stronger than anyone to take the title."

On keeping in touch with her fans...
"It's very important to socialize with the fans through the website and everything, just to keep them up to date when it comes to my life on the tour, what I'm doing, how I'm playing - it's fun for them. And it's fun to have people follow you and know you. When we're on the court we have one personality - we have our game face on and we're trying to win. But when we step off the court we're different - more relaxed, more outgoing, a real person. It's fun for all of the fans out there to know you that way too."

On going from junior World No.1 to World No.1 in the pros...
"I was the No.1 junior in the world when I was 15 years old. It was very special for me to do that at such a young age. And then it wasn't easy making the transition from the juniors to the pros - I was very skinny and wasn't good enough to play with the pro girls at the time. But I kept growing and growing and when I was 23, I became No.1 in the world in the pros. I finished 2008 as first in the world. Not many have gone from No.1 junior to No.1 pro - it's very special, and I'm very proud of that achievement."

On finishing 2012 at No.22 in the world...
"I was Top 10 and Top 5 for a long time, so I'm used to that - No.22 in the world is not where I want to be. I don't want to keep playing the way I'm playing and be at this ranking. I need to find my game again. But I've made up my mind and want to give my best next year. Hopefully I can play a few more years. I want to try and come back to the Top 5. And then if I can't do that, I guess I'll play golf."

On golf...
"I play golf for fun here and there. I'm really not good at it. I might have some talent somewhere, but I haven't played enough to be good at it. My coach is very good, so he's been teaching me the techniques and how I'm supposed to hit it. I try to follow the instructions, but I still don't know where my ball is going. I hit it but I don't know where it's going. I'm at the beginner stage but my goal is to do better when I stop playing tennis. It's something fun to do and relax with when I'm on my own time."

On preparing for 2013...
"Well, I did get to two finals this year and my form was getting better at the end of the year. I felt fitter and more complete. Unfortunately it was the end of the season and we stopped. So, I'll be preparing on and off court - it'll be important to get myself as fit as possible because I've had some injuries the last few years, which wasn't the case when I was 20 years old. It's not the same now. But I'm trying to be as fit as possible and play at a high level, day in and day out. If you want to be a top player, you need to."

On Kim Clijsters...
"She was a great champion and a really nice girl, and she had a really great game - to watch, too. I got to compete against her a lot of times and we had some tough matches against each other, some exciting ones. It's unfortunate she's retired now, but that's the way it goes. There's a life after tennis and she wants to do something else. Tennis gave her a lot and she had a great career, but there comes a time you decide you don't want to do it anymore, you want to have a family, you want to stay at home more. I wish her the best of luck, a great life after tennis and good health - and of course more kids."

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